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Old 01-20-2020, 07:49 AM   #1
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HELP for a first-time potential Fuse 23A Buyer PLEASE

I'm seriously considering buying my first RV. Many years ago I owned a popup tent camper trailer, that's my prior total RV experience. I am very good with tools and repairs. I'm 6'3" tall which has limited my choice of small RVs. It will be mostly me in the RV, with an occasional friend. I'm a retired bachelor.

The Fuse 23A seems the closest to meeting my needs. However I have a BUNCH of questions (like about 21 questions on my list) that I would love to have an experienced Fuse owner answer. I'm new to this Forum stuff too, so I'm not sure how best to proceed. Do I just post my list of questions? Or can I get someone to respond to my plea, and then i share the list directly with him/her?

Thanks so much,

BaronL
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:09 AM   #2
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Welcome, post the questions, there are great folks out there.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:41 AM   #3
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Okay. I've looked at a 2019 Fuse 23A. I'm very interested in it. Following are the questions I'd love having answers to from experienced Fuse owners. This will be my first RV. I'm retired on a fixed income. I'm not poor, but this would be a significant purchase for me money wise and commitment wise. Thanks for any help anyone can give me. Feel free to pick only a few of these to answer.

1. There appear to be a lot of complaints from owners of brand-new Fuses that there were a lot of things that needed fixing after they took delivery. Are there more initial quality issues with the Fuse than other brands? One of the reasons I am attracted to the Fuse is my perception of Winnebago’s reputation. Deserved or not?

2. Are there any issues with the slide-out? I’m mostly concerned about water leakage, both from rain and freeze/thaw cycles in the winter from snow and ice. Any difference when the slide-out is in vs. out? The Fuse I looked at has a retractable awning attached to the slide out to cover the top once it’s out. And what about air leaks around the slide-out both when you are driving and when you care about the outside air temperature getting inside – outside air that’s too hot or too cold.

3. How is the insulation for winter use? Winnebago tells me there’s 1 Ĺ” of Styrofoam in the walls.

4. I have seen several videos and comments about the Fuse’s suspension and ground clearance. The Fuse 23A I just looked at has a Sumo Spring set to raise the rear, although I understand that Sumo springs yield only about a 1” raise at the bumper. Is the Fuse markedly different from other similar RVs about ground clearance? And how much of a real-world issue is this?

5. Build quality of cabinetry? I see complaints about drawer latches not holding, (and the drawer latches seemed very weak in the Fuse I just looked at) and one comment about the framing of the loveseat being just stapled together and inadequate. Do the drawers hold up once loaded with stuff and with inertial loads going down the road (turns and bumps)?

6. Many/most of the small RVs I’ve been looking at use lifting doors (hinged at the top) for the upper interior storage bins. The Fuse uses sliders. I’m sure that sliders are cheaper to build, but with those you can open only one half of the bin at a time. Makes putting long items in there more difficult. Is that an issue?

7. How hard/easy has it been to find diesel fuel – especially in remote areas?

8. The generator understandably runs on propane since there is no gasoline to power it. I’ve seen a few comments about people packing small portable gasoline generators to avoid using up propane. Is that an issue? The 55-pound tank seems like plenty to carry – right or wrong?

9. And like the question about finding diesel fuel – how hard is it to find places to fill the propane tank?

10. How is driving the Fuse in strong winds?

11. Similar question for driving in snowy conditions?

12. Performance on hilly/mountain roads?

13. Trailer towing? (I have a 16’ aluminum power boat that I would want to sometimes trail behind my Fuse. Probably weighs about 1,500 pounds total including boat, motor, trailer, gear.)

14. How useful/necessary are the optional rear stabilizing legs?

15. It sounds like expecting about 16 mpg fuel mileage overall is reasonable. Do you agree?

16. Functionality of the galley for food prep? Is there enough room to prepare a decent meal? I’m not talking about elaborate six course dinners, but more than microwaving a frozen dinner. For example: cook some fish or chicken, steam a few veggies, and fix a tossed salad. (I’m used to cooking on a two-burner propane stove on a boat.)

17. Functionality of the bathroom? What’s it like taking a shower in that stall? Any room to move around? Water supply, pressure & temperature?

18. Blunt questions: How well does the bathroom vent work to avoid stinking up the entire RV when someone poops? And how well does the toilet handle poop? Any significant clogging issues? (I’m used to using a manually pumped “head” (toilet) on a boat, and there are commonly clogging issues with those.)

Finally, one of my favorite expressions is: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” What have I not asked about the Fuse 23A that I should have asked about?

Thanks so much!
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:06 AM   #4
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I would respectfully suggest that the lack of responses from "experienced Fuse owners" might be your first red flag.
Your postings are fine, but you might be on the wrong forum. Maybe try iRV2 and RVNet, as well?
If you get few or no responses over there, might be time to rethink the Fuse as an RV option.
Either that, or Fuse owners are very secretive.....
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Old 01-22-2020, 05:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Okay. I've looked at a 2019 Fuse 23A. I'm very interested in it. Following are the questions I'd love having answers to from experienced Fuse owners. This will be my first RV. I'm retired on a fixed income. I'm not poor, but this would be a significant purchase for me money wise and commitment wise. Thanks for any help anyone can give me. Feel free to pick only a few of these to answer.

1. There appear to be a lot of complaints from owners of brand-new Fuses that there were a lot of things that needed fixing after they took delivery. Are there more initial quality issues with the Fuse than other brands? One of the reasons I am attracted to the Fuse is my perception of Winnebagoís reputation. Deserved or not?

2. Are there any issues with the slide-out? Iím mostly concerned about water leakage, both from rain and freeze/thaw cycles in the winter from snow and ice. Any difference when the slide-out is in vs. out? The Fuse I looked at has a retractable awning attached to the slide out to cover the top once itís out. And what about air leaks around the slide-out both when you are driving and when you care about the outside air temperature getting inside Ė outside air thatís too hot or too cold.

3. How is the insulation for winter use? Winnebago tells me thereís 1 ĹĒ of Styrofoam in the walls.

4. I have seen several videos and comments about the Fuseís suspension and ground clearance. The Fuse 23A I just looked at has a Sumo Spring set to raise the rear, although I understand that Sumo springs yield only about a 1Ē raise at the bumper. Is the Fuse markedly different from other similar RVs about ground clearance? And how much of a real-world issue is this?

5. Build quality of cabinetry? I see complaints about drawer latches not holding, (and the drawer latches seemed very weak in the Fuse I just looked at) and one comment about the framing of the loveseat being just stapled together and inadequate. Do the drawers hold up once loaded with stuff and with inertial loads going down the road (turns and bumps)?

6. Many/most of the small RVs Iíve been looking at use lifting doors (hinged at the top) for the upper interior storage bins. The Fuse uses sliders. Iím sure that sliders are cheaper to build, but with those you can open only one half of the bin at a time. Makes putting long items in there more difficult. Is that an issue?

7. How hard/easy has it been to find diesel fuel Ė especially in remote areas?

8. The generator understandably runs on propane since there is no gasoline to power it. Iíve seen a few comments about people packing small portable gasoline generators to avoid using up propane. Is that an issue? The 55-pound tank seems like plenty to carry Ė right or wrong?

9. And like the question about finding diesel fuel Ė how hard is it to find places to fill the propane tank?

10. How is driving the Fuse in strong winds?

11. Similar question for driving in snowy conditions?

12. Performance on hilly/mountain roads?

13. Trailer towing? (I have a 16í aluminum power boat that I would want to sometimes trail behind my Fuse. Probably weighs about 1,500 pounds total including boat, motor, trailer, gear.)

14. How useful/necessary are the optional rear stabilizing legs?

15. It sounds like expecting about 16 mpg fuel mileage overall is reasonable. Do you agree?

16. Functionality of the galley for food prep? Is there enough room to prepare a decent meal? Iím not talking about elaborate six course dinners, but more than microwaving a frozen dinner. For example: cook some fish or chicken, steam a few veggies, and fix a tossed salad. (Iím used to cooking on a two-burner propane stove on a boat.)

17. Functionality of the bathroom? Whatís it like taking a shower in that stall? Any room to move around? Water supply, pressure & temperature?

18. Blunt questions: How well does the bathroom vent work to avoid stinking up the entire RV when someone poops? And how well does the toilet handle poop? Any significant clogging issues? (Iím used to using a manually pumped ďheadĒ (toilet) on a boat, and there are commonly clogging issues with those.)

Finally, one of my favorite expressions is: ďYou donít know what you donít know.Ē What have I not asked about the Fuse 23A that I should have asked about?

Thanks so much!
We just returned from a trip with our Fuse (23T) and I will attempt to answer your questions, but it is late here now and I want to have the time to answer completely, so I will post responses tomorrow morning.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:21 AM   #6
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First, a preface.

We have a 2018.5 Fuse, which means we have a 2018 Winnie Fuse built on a 2018 Ford 350 HD Transit Chassis. As I understand it Winnebago buys their Transit Chassis in advance so an early 2018 Fuse would have an already purchased 2017 Transit Chassis.

We have a 23T, which is the bedroom slide out model. We looked at the 23 A and almost bought it but decided at the last minute to get the T instead. The reason is listed below in answer to one of your questions. The reason I mention this is that a change in model also means a change in other things in the coach and therefore some of my answers may apply to a 23A only loosely. I will try to identify what those restrictions are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
1. There appear to be a lot of complaints from owners of brand-new Fuses that there were a lot of things that needed fixing after they took delivery. Are there more initial quality issues with the Fuse than other brands? One of the reasons I am attracted to the Fuse is my perception of Winnebagoís reputation. Deserved or not?
I think people with issues are generally more likely to complain than those without issues are likely to praise, so it is not surprising that you would see more complaints than praise. We have been very happy with out Fuse and it's construction. We have had 4 issues, only one of which was serious and all of which were addressed under warranty.

Our Fuse has stabilizer legs. They worked properly, but the switches were wired incorrectly. The left switch controlled the right stabilizer and vice versa. The dealer fixed that.

We had a couple of our rear brake/turn LED lights that did not work and the dealer replaced the light module.

The Fuse has heating pads glued to the (I think fresh) water tank and it had come loose due to the wind when the coach was moving. They replaced it with a new one.

The only serious issue we had was with the refrigerator. Our Fuse has an all electric Dometic refrigerator/freezer that is easily twice the size of our previous fridge/freezer, but it would not keep things cold. The freezer would cycle from -4F to +40 F, then back to -4F. The Dometic shop in town fixed this in a couple of hours.

Aside from these issues our Fuse has been completely trouble free. We found all of the issues shortly after we bought the Fuse and have not had any other issue since. When we were looking I was interested in a competitor, a Thor Compass, but ended up buying the Fuse because of my belief that the quality of the Winnie products was higher than that of Thor, and I believe that I was right in doing so. Yes, there were some problems, most of which were minor and easily fixed by someone who is handy (I am not). We have used our Fuse a lot. We bought it 15 months ago and now have more than 20,000 miles on it without any issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Are there any issues with the slide-out? Iím mostly concerned about water leakage, both from rain and freeze/thaw cycles in the winter from snow and ice. Any difference when the slide-out is in vs. out? The Fuse I looked at has a retractable awning attached to the slide out to cover the top once itís out. And what about air leaks around the slide-out both when you are driving and when you care about the outside air temperature getting inside Ė outside air thatís too hot or too cold.
We have not had any issues with out slide. No water leakage and we have been in it during heavy rain storms. We do not camp when and where it is very cold as my wife is sensitive to the cold, so I can not speak to freezing.

I have not noticed any air leakage when driving but the slide on a 23T is in the back, not the front, so it would be less noticeable. My wife has walked around that area when we were moving and never said anything about air leakage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
How is the insulation for winter use? Winnebago tells me thereís 1 ĹĒ of Styrofoam in the walls.
As I mentioned we do not camp in the cold so my information here is limited. However we do camp when the outside temperatures are in the low 40s or, sometimes, in the high 30s. If we keep our windows closed and close the roof vents the inside seems to be about 10 degrees higher than the outside. If we have shore power we carry a small ceramic heater and then the inside of the RV stays reasonably warm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
I have seen several videos and comments about the Fuseís suspension and ground clearance. The Fuse 23A I just looked at has a Sumo Spring set to raise the rear, although I understand that Sumo springs yield only about a 1Ē raise at the bumper. Is the Fuse markedly different from other similar RVs about ground clearance? And how much of a real-world issue is this?
Our Fuse has not been raised, and I have had some instances of the rear dragging.

As I mentioned we live in southern Arizona and this area gets frequent and heavy rains. Due to that many of the entrances and exits from parking lots have troughs to carry the rain water away and I am in the habit of entering and exiting these areas slowly and at an angle to avoid dragging issues. Still, it has happened a couple of times.

There are braces/supports in the rear that keep anything important from getting damaged but it is still not a pleasant sound when they brush against the ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Build quality of cabinetry? I see complaints about drawer latches not holding, (and the drawer latches seemed very weak in the Fuse I just looked at) and one comment about the framing of the loveseat being just stapled together and inadequate. Do the drawers hold up once loaded with stuff and with inertial loads going down the road (turns and bumps)?
The cabinets themselves seem unusually well made and have been holding up very nicely. My wife tends to over pack and the doors and drawers have shown no sign of weakness or poor construction. In fact we have been quite happy with the way they are put together. However the drawers have a tendency to open if I take a corner or stop too quickly.

Winnebago has put some very nice latches on the drawers, much nicer than those that were on a previous Thor RV we had, but they are not particularly strong and, as I mentioned, have opened on us under certain conditions. I called Winnebago and they sent us some stronger latches free of charge to take care of the issue. One of these days I will get them installed, but it is a non-issue unless I am turning too quickly to forced to stop too suddenly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Many/most of the small RVs Iíve been looking at use lifting doors (hinged at the top) for the upper interior storage bins. The Fuse uses sliders. Iím sure that sliders are cheaper to build, but with those you can open only one half of the bin at a time. Makes putting long items in there more difficult. Is that an issue?
Not for us. My wife packs things in small boxes and has arranged them so we can access anything in those cabinets with the slider open. One good thing is that since there is no hinged door blocking the way it is easy to move things in and out of those cabinets with the slide pushed to the side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
How hard/easy has it been to find diesel fuel Ė especially in remote areas?
I have never had an issue finding diesel, and we frequently travel in rural areas. The tank is about 25 gallons and the Fuse gets really good mileage, so we can go close to 400 miles before we are in danger of running out. I don't wait that long, of course, but diesel is all over the place now.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Ford diesel can handle B20 while the Mercedes chassis warns users against it. While we have only found B20 twice in our travels it may be more of a problem in the mid-west than out here in the West.

I have to stop now to take care of things but will continue as soon as I can, presumably in about an hour.
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:48 AM   #7
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Continuation of previous post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
The generator understandably runs on propane since there is no gasoline to power it. I’ve seen a few comments about people packing small portable gasoline generators to avoid using up propane. Is that an issue? The 55-pound tank seems like plenty to carry – right or wrong?
I have no idea why people would carry gas generators so as to not use the propane generator. That seems odd to me, but presumably they have a reason.

We have been quite happy with the propane generator in our Fuse. It frees us from having to worry about fueling up before stopping for the night to make sure we don't run out of fuel for the generator, it is quieter than the gas generator we had on our last RV and a tank full of propane lasts us 4-6 months. However we don't use the generator much and if we did propane might be more of an issue since it is more difficult to find propane and diesel or gas and a fill takes longer than filling your fuel tank. It may well be that we use our generator far less than others since we typically only use it to run the microwave or other AC appliance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
And like the question about finding diesel fuel – how hard is it to find places to fill the propane tank?
As I mentioned, that is more difficult. When we are low I fill before we start a trip since our local gas station carries both diesel and propane, but finding propane while traveling is not as easy. My fuel app (GasBuddy) does not do propane. There are propane location apps for my smartphone and I just use them if looking for propane.

If I even think I might need some and if the campground or RV park I am in offers it, I just fill up when I can. For use this has not been an issue because we use little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
How is driving the Fuse in strong winds?
Under normal driving conditions the Fuse drives like a dream - more comfortably than our Jeep - but it is a high profile vehicle and high winds will have an effect. Of course it depends upon how the wind is hitting the vehicle.

We drove through the Texas panhandle about a year ago where we encountered very strong head winds, and it had an effect on fuel economy. Side winds will tend to push it, just like any RV, but the Fuse is a dually so side winds (and passing trucks) have less effect on it than they would on an RV with a single set of rear wheels. Our previous RV was a Class B with a much lower profile, but single rear wheels, and side winds and trucks had a much greater impact on it than on the Fuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Similar question for driving in snowy conditions?
We live in southern Arizona and don't go where there is snow, so I can not address that issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Performance on hilly/mountain roads?
I think this depends upon your speed.

We typically travel at about 62-65 mph for a couple of reasons. First, we get great mileage at that speed, typically 17-19 mpg, and that drops noticeably as speed increases. Second, we are not usually in a hurry to get where we are going. I use cruise control and have found that I can generally climb up hills on the interstate where the incline is 4% or less (approximately) without having the Fuse change gears. When the incline is greater than that I disconnect the cruise control and find that I can climb hills at about 50-55 mph without a problem, faster if I am willing to allow the transmission to down shift. Overall I find the Fuse and its diesel do well on even steep inclines.

Twisty and steep mountain roads are a more difficult issue, but generally if the roads are that difficult I am driving at 25 mph or less and the Fuse has no problem keeping that up. I used to have a gas Class A (a Winnebago Sightseer) with the Ford V10 and the Fuse does better than it did on hilly roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Trailer towing? (I have a 16’ aluminum power boat that I would want to sometimes trail behind my Fuse. Probably weighs about 1,500 pounds total including boat, motor, trailer, gear.)
We have not towed so I can not address this issue except to say that the Fuse has a relatively low tow weight limit. The sales people pointed to the 5000 pound hitch but Winnebago says that a fully loaded Fuse can only tow 3140 pounds. If not fully loaded the tow weight can be increased accordingly. Based on your posted boat weight you should not have any issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
How useful/necessary are the optional rear stabilizing legs?
That depends upon how willing you are to put up with side-to-side motion when you walk around while camping. We use them all the time. In fact I do not camp without the stabilizing legs down and they do a good job of preventing motion. They are extra cost options and I am glad they were on the model we bought because I do not feel side motion when camping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
It sounds like expecting about 16 mpg fuel mileage overall is reasonable. Do you agree?
We typically get better mileage than that. We just returned from a trip and our overall mileage was about 17 - 17.5 mpg, but then I tend to keep my speed low when on the road. I have seen posts indicating that people get 15-16 if they are driving at 70-75 mph but I can not speak to that since we don't generally go that fast.

Of course your mileage will depend upon a lot of things out of your control - how hilly the area is, if you are driving into a head wind or being buffeted by side winds, the traffic and other things. I have seen as low as 12 mpg when we were driving into very strong head winds, but also seen as high as 22 when driving with strong tail winds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Functionality of the galley for food prep? Is there enough room to prepare a decent meal? I’m not talking about elaborate six course dinners, but more than microwaving a frozen dinner. For example: cook some fish or chicken, steam a few veggies, and fix a tossed salad. (I’m used to cooking on a two-burner propane stove on a boat.)
My wife says there is plenty of room, but then she is comparing the kitchen in the Fuse with that in our previous Class B. I think it depends upon what you are used to, but she seems happy to have as much room and storage as she has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Functionality of the bathroom? What’s it like taking a shower in that stall? Any room to move around? Water supply, pressure & temperature?
This is probably the largest bathroom we have ever had in an RV so it seems to be plenty of room to us, but my wife has taken control of the shower to use as a storage area and we use the shower facilities in the RV parks and campgrounds instead so I can not speak to the room in the shower.

Even so our toilet in the 23T is very different from that in the 23A so anything I write might not apply to the Fuse you have been looking at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Blunt questions: How well does the bathroom vent work to avoid stinking up the entire RV when someone poops? And how well does the toilet handle poop? Any significant clogging issues? (I’m used to using a manually pumped “head” (toilet) on a boat, and there are commonly clogging issues with those.)
As I mentioned earlier we almost bought the 23A. The reason we did not was that I was concerned about the noise and smell from the toilet right next to our heads in the bedroom area and so we ended up with a separate and more distant bathroom. Given that I can not speak to the 23A but I will tell you what we found in the 23T and you can make your own judgement as to whether or not it applies to the A.

There is no window in our bathroom, let alone one that can be opened, so the only ventilation is the small roof vent. That has a fan and it seems pretty good at eliminating odors, but you would not want it open when the RV is moving because the wind blowing through an open bathroom vent might blow the foam seal out of its location and make sealing the vent less effective. It happened on our RV, so we now keep the vent closed when driving.

The toilet bowl in our 23T is very large and we have never had an issue with something refusing to go down the opening when the toilet is flushed, but smells do tend to remain. We use an emulsifier and deodorant in the black water tank so we don't get smells coming up from it, but I find it necessary to regularly flush the tank with water to make sure it is clean after use.

We don't generally get any unpleasant odors from the toilet in the RV but then our toilet is not next to our heads in bed. I really liked the twin bed model of the Fuse but the location of the toilet was an issue for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
What have I not asked about the Fuse 23A that I should have asked about?
After 15 months and 20,000 miles there are some things I did not think about when we bought, but I do now.

1. As I mentioned, if you are going to get a diesel you need to consider the ability to use B20 when it may be all that is available. MB warns its users to avoid it, Ford does not, and that is meaningful to us now.

2. The cost and location of service. Where can you take the RV for regular service? How much does it cost? How likely are you to be able to find a service location when traveling?

3. Do you want a convection oven in your microwave? The A has one, the T does not.

4. Do you have enough outside storage? We found the limited outside storage in the A to be an issue for us. The T has much more outside storage.

5. How much dry camping will you be doing? The Fuse comes with 2 100 watt solar panels. If you do a lot of dry camping that might not be enough. We added a 3rd panel.

6. As with the solar panels, you might want to consider the batteries. The wet cells you get with the Fuse are OK if you do not do a lot of long term dry camping but you might want to get something better if you plan to dry camp a lot. There is little battery room in the Fuse so your options are a bit limited.

There is so little room in the battery compartment in our 23T that I ended up having the OEM batteries replaced with maintenance-free AGMs. There is not enough room on top of the batteries to easily add water so maintenance-free seemed like a better idea. We chose AGMs over maintenance-free wet cells but I am not sure that makes much difference.

7. The rear tires on the Fuse are duallies but the outside tires do not have an easy to get to valve stem. We had to have them replaced with solid extended valve stems to check the pressure without removing the wheel covers.

8. If you are going to tow you might want to add a second rear camera. The one on our 23T is a backup camera and only focuses on the rear of the RV to help you avoid hitting something when backing up and does not show much beyond that. Our monitor has a button to switch between camera 1 and camera 2 so I assume you can add a second rear view camera and you might want to look into that.

I hope this has been of some help to you. I understand that there is a very active Fuse online group on Facebook and if you do Facebook you might want to join to get other opinions. My answers have all been related to our 23T and provides only one set of answers. You probably want more varied opinions but I would also mention that people are more likely to complain than praise so keep that in mind.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:39 AM   #8
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Also, there is a Fuse owner that has an active blog on his experiences. https://confusedrv.blogspot.com.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMike View Post
Continuation of previous post.



I have no idea why people would carry gas generators so as to not use the propane generator. That seems odd to me, but presumably they have a reason.

We have been quite happy with the propane generator in our Fuse. It frees us from having to worry about fueling up before stopping for the night to make sure we don't run out of fuel for the generator, it is quieter than the gas generator we had on our last RV and a tank full of propane lasts us 4-6 months. However we don't use the generator much and if we did propane might be more of an issue since it is more difficult to find propane and diesel or gas and a fill takes longer than filling your fuel tank. It may well be that we use our generator far less than others since we typically only use it to run the microwave or other AC appliance.



As I mentioned, that is more difficult. When we are low I fill before we start a trip since our local gas station carries both diesel and propane, but finding propane while traveling is not as easy. My fuel app (GasBuddy) does not do propane. There are propane location apps for my smartphone and I just use them if looking for propane.

If I even think I might need some and if the campground or RV park I am in offers it, I just fill up when I can. For use this has not been an issue because we use little.



Under normal driving conditions the Fuse drives like a dream - more comfortably than our Jeep - but it is a high profile vehicle and high winds will have an effect. Of course it depends upon how the wind is hitting the vehicle.

We drove through the Texas panhandle about a year ago where we encountered very strong head winds, and it had an effect on fuel economy. Side winds will tend to push it, just like any RV, but the Fuse is a dually so side winds (and passing trucks) have less effect on it than they would on an RV with a single set of rear wheels. Our previous RV was a Class B with a much lower profile, but single rear wheels, and side winds and trucks had a much greater impact on it than on the Fuse.



We live in southern Arizona and don't go where there is snow, so I can not address that issue.



I think this depends upon your speed.

We typically travel at about 62-65 mph for a couple of reasons. First, we get great mileage at that speed, typically 17-19 mpg, and that drops noticeably as speed increases. Second, we are not usually in a hurry to get where we are going. I use cruise control and have found that I can generally climb up hills on the interstate where the incline is 4% or less (approximately) without having the Fuse change gears. When the incline is greater than that I disconnect the cruise control and find that I can climb hills at about 50-55 mph without a problem, faster if I am willing to allow the transmission to down shift. Overall I find the Fuse and its diesel do well on even steep inclines.

Twisty and steep mountain roads are a more difficult issue, but generally if the roads are that difficult I am driving at 25 mph or less and the Fuse has no problem keeping that up. I used to have a gas Class A (a Winnebago Sightseer) with the Ford V10 and the Fuse does better than it did on hilly roads.



We have not towed so I can not address this issue except to say that the Fuse has a relatively low tow weight limit. The sales people pointed to the 5000 pound hitch but Winnebago says that a fully loaded Fuse can only tow 3140 pounds. If not fully loaded the tow weight can be increased accordingly. Based on your posted boat weight you should not have any issue.



That depends upon how willing you are to put up with side-to-side motion when you walk around while camping. We use them all the time. In fact I do not camp without the stabilizing legs down and they do a good job of preventing motion. They are extra cost options and I am glad they were on the model we bought because I do not feel side motion when camping.



We typically get better mileage than that. We just returned from a trip and our overall mileage was about 17 - 17.5 mpg, but then I tend to keep my speed low when on the road. I have seen posts indicating that people get 15-16 if they are driving at 70-75 mph but I can not speak to that since we don't generally go that fast.

Of course your mileage will depend upon a lot of things out of your control - how hilly the area is, if you are driving into a head wind or being buffeted by side winds, the traffic and other things. I have seen as low as 12 mpg when we were driving into very strong head winds, but also seen as high as 22 when driving with strong tail winds.



My wife says there is plenty of room, but then she is comparing the kitchen in the Fuse with that in our previous Class B. I think it depends upon what you are used to, but she seems happy to have as much room and storage as she has.



This is probably the largest bathroom we have ever had in an RV so it seems to be plenty of room to us, but my wife has taken control of the shower to use as a storage area and we use the shower facilities in the RV parks and campgrounds instead so I can not speak to the room in the shower.

Even so our toilet in the 23T is very different from that in the 23A so anything I write might not apply to the Fuse you have been looking at.



As I mentioned earlier we almost bought the 23A. The reason we did not was that I was concerned about the noise and smell from the toilet right next to our heads in the bedroom area and so we ended up with a separate and more distant bathroom. Given that I can not speak to the 23A but I will tell you what we found in the 23T and you can make your own judgement as to whether or not it applies to the A.

There is no window in our bathroom, let alone one that can be opened, so the only ventilation is the small roof vent. That has a fan and it seems pretty good at eliminating odors, but you would not want it open when the RV is moving because the wind blowing through an open bathroom vent might blow the foam seal out of its location and make sealing the vent less effective. It happened on our RV, so we now keep the vent closed when driving.

The toilet bowl in our 23T is very large and we have never had an issue with something refusing to go down the opening when the toilet is flushed, but smells do tend to remain. We use an emulsifier and deodorant in the black water tank so we don't get smells coming up from it, but I find it necessary to regularly flush the tank with water to make sure it is clean after use.

We don't generally get any unpleasant odors from the toilet in the RV but then our toilet is not next to our heads in bed. I really liked the twin bed model of the Fuse but the location of the toilet was an issue for us.



After 15 months and 20,000 miles there are some things I did not think about when we bought, but I do now.

1. As I mentioned, if you are going to get a diesel you need to consider the ability to use B20 when it may be all that is available. MB warns its users to avoid it, Ford does not, and that is meaningful to us now.

2. The cost and location of service. Where can you take the RV for regular service? How much does it cost? How likely are you to be able to find a service location when traveling?

3. Do you want a convection oven in your microwave? The A has one, the T does not.

4. Do you have enough outside storage? We found the limited outside storage in the A to be an issue for us. The T has much more outside storage.

5. How much dry camping will you be doing? The Fuse comes with 2 100 watt solar panels. If you do a lot of dry camping that might not be enough. We added a 3rd panel.

6. As with the solar panels, you might want to consider the batteries. The wet cells you get with the Fuse are OK if you do not do a lot of long term dry camping but you might want to get something better if you plan to dry camp a lot. There is little battery room in the Fuse so your options are a bit limited.

There is so little room in the battery compartment in our 23T that I ended up having the OEM batteries replaced with maintenance-free AGMs. There is not enough room on top of the batteries to easily add water so maintenance-free seemed like a better idea. We chose AGMs over maintenance-free wet cells but I am not sure that makes much difference.

7. The rear tires on the Fuse are duallies but the outside tires do not have an easy to get to valve stem. We had to have them replaced with solid extended valve stems to check the pressure without removing the wheel covers.

8. If you are going to tow you might want to add a second rear camera. The one on our 23T is a backup camera and only focuses on the rear of the RV to help you avoid hitting something when backing up and does not show much beyond that. Our monitor has a button to switch between camera 1 and camera 2 so I assume you can add a second rear view camera and you might want to look into that.

I hope this has been of some help to you. I understand that there is a very active Fuse online group on Facebook and if you do Facebook you might want to join to get other opinions. My answers have all been related to our 23T and provides only one set of answers. You probably want more varied opinions but I would also mention that people are more likely to complain than praise so keep that in mind.
THANK YOU. THANK YOU! I did not expect someone to answer ALL my questions. I figured Iíd be lucky to get a few. And your additional suggestions are very helpful. Iím also a sailor with both solar panels and a wind generator on my sailboat that I installed myself. So Iím pretty used to the problems and management of a 12 volt power system. Winnebago says the standard batteries are AGMs, but if I buy the Fuse I may upgrade those to carbon-foam batteries I use on my sailboat.

Again my sincere thanks for going way above & beyond.

BaronL
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:16 AM   #10
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
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Location: Apache Junction, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronL View Post
Winnebago says the standard batteries are AGMs, but if I buy the Fuse I may upgrade those to carbon-foam batteries I use on my sailboat.

Again my sincere thanks for going way above & beyond.

BaronL
Our standard chassis battery is an AGM but our standard coach batteries were wet cells, so I guess Winnie has upgraded. That is good to hear.

As for the questions and answers, I am just glad if I helped. I asked even more questions when I was looking but never got some of my questions answered so I did my best.

I just wanted to comment that when my wife and I were looking I really liked one of the Thor RVs we saw. It was the Compass and it had a wall slide, meaning that the entire wall was a slide and that hence there was much more interior room than in the Fuse when the slide was out. It also did not have a front TV (which we never use) and did have a large sun roof. We did not get it for 2 reasons. My wife wanted more cross ventilation than the Compass offered and I wanted a better quality build than Thor typically offers. The Fuse satisfied both of those needs. We may have been lucky but aside from the issues I mentioned, all of which showed up quickly, the RV has (so far) been trouble free and we really like it.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:27 PM   #11
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We have a 2017 Fuse 23A and within the first 16 months discovered two significant roof leaks that required repair. I believe both were the result of sloppy fabrication and QC by WBGO. The placement of the generator is poor since it can only be accessed from under the rig. The rear ground clearance on earlier models was too low requiring many owners including us, to install larger bumpstops (sumo springs) and an additional leaf spring. The rear TV went dead within a year and there have been several recalls and technical fixes required by Ford. Have fun finding dealers willing to work on them, but that's an issue with many RVs. I like the way it drives and mileage is 15-16 MPG. Minimal sway and torque is good. If I had to do over I would have shelled out the extra bucks on a Leisure Travel Van Wonder. They have a similar twin bed layout but much better design and quality.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:55 PM   #12
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I can only add that we can compare our 2019 Fuse 23T to our Mercedes Sprinter 2012 Itasca. We are pleasantly surprised with the performance, mileage, including better handling in wind, and better gas mileage than the Sprinter. 17mpg vs 15.

We set out to find a small diesel again, after selling a larger RV last year. So far the Fuse has outperformed the Sprinter in climbing hills, no swaying, easier to drive, better mileage and quieter ride. It’s really a pleasure to drive. We saved $30,000 as well, so no complaints other than we’d like it an inch higher off the ground, easily fixed with springs, which we haven’t done.

Things we love:
The sliding storage doors inside, no more head banging.
Nice window size for light.
Decent shower and bathroom.
The large storage areas upper front. I’m a photographer and there is enough storage for everything.
Plenty of kitchen storage. Frige good sized, electric.
Not only a small couch that folds out, but I can bring a guest if we want.
Plus a padded booth for meals.
Insulated water and pipes inside so no freezing. We were in 25* weather and no prep needed.
This RV seemed to check off more boxes than any others do Winn seemed to pack in what people need.

We’ve driven it 8,000 miles in 9 months, including Yellowstone in cold weather, and never needed more propane.


Air conditioner is noisy, but we don’t use it often.
Keep in mind, your needs may be different, your weather, your length of stays, etc.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:36 AM   #13
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
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Originally Posted by SFC Mike View Post
If I had to do over I would have shelled out the extra bucks on a Leisure Travel Van Wonder. They have a similar twin bed layout but much better design and quality.
Sorry to hear about your issues.

We did some checking out of the Leisure Van models but the prices were so high that we are glad we have the Fuse. Fortunately we have not had many issues, and only one that we considered to be serious.

The Leisure Van models are so rare that we would have had to make a 600 mile trip just to see them, and the one we thought we might be interested in (the Unity) did not have a slide. I understand that the people who have them are happy with them but then we are happy with our Fuse as well.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:50 AM   #14
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I have a 2016 fuse 23A and I love it. I had very few start up issues except a control board for the fridge had to be replaced (warranty) and that wasn't the diagnosis on the first or second trip to get the fridge running. Expect some things like that depending on the repair/dealer place you go to.
Clearance to ground is an issue. I bunged up the door steps going through a dip more than once. Replacement was about $800 so with some percussive maintenance (small sledge hammer) I got them to work though they didn't retract all the way but I could live with it. A year or so later another dip got me and voila smashed them back into perfect working order. I have since learned to take dips, gutters, driveways at an angle. Also the tailpipe sometimes drags. Just have to be careful.
I love the slide cabinets myself; not a problem.
I have had two "fails" with drawer latches. One I fixed myself and the other I just haven't gotten to yet but that's only two out of like 10 or so.
I have diesel, propane and solar. My onboard gen runs on diesel. Never had a problem finding diesel on the road and there are aps for that.
I'm 5'6" and the shower is quite OK. At 6'3" you might be less comfortable but unless you significantly upgrade to something bigger they are all probably going to be about like the fuse.
No problems with the slideout. I do notice a rather significant air leak around the top of the fridge. When parked I will sometimes fold up a towel and stuff it in the space or if traveling in cold weather but something I can definitely live with.
I get 16-18 MPG. Wind makes a significant difference in MPG but my fuse holds well on the road; I've never felt like I was going to get blown away even in the West TX winds.
Mine climbs hills like a tank; has lower gears if needed for ascent or descent which I have used especially at some hilly, curvy campground roads.
No problems with stinky anything; toilet works great as you can regulate how much water you need for a flush....just keep the pedal down as long as you like (knowing it's going to add to your black tank of course and use up your onboard water if you are not hooked to city water).
I tow a Stinger trailer with a CanAm Spyder F3T Ltd and don't even know it's there. Just check the rating for the hitch and weight to know what your rig is rated for. I did need to add a 2" receiver (welding shop did great work) as it came with a teeny tiny receiver.
I have on board a small elec. heater that I can use if hooked up to shore power and save on the propane. Usually it is stowed but easy to get to.
No problem in the kitchen; shelf pops up adjacent to sink in my model and with the sink cover there is quite a bit of room, relatively speaking, for prep. I have a small propane bottle grill and I try to do a lot of the cooking outside. It's more fun; I can be a bit more messy, I don't heat up the kitchen and splatter things around to be cleaned up. I've used Hello Fresh for about a year and it's usually convenient to take a couple of those meals along and they are easy to do...require nothing added from you except salt, pepper, olive oil and maybe some butter and often require only one skillet. I'm rarely gone for more than a week but my longest was 3100 miles in 13 days.
Bottom line I love my Fuse. about 1/2 the time it's me and my 70lb dog and the other 1/2 it's me and my partner. Plenty of room to move about and we are well equipped for "outdoor dining/cooking/relaxing". A hammock makes a great addition if you are in an area with trees large and close enough (sometimes in the SW we are not!)
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:40 PM   #15
Ed & Lynn
 
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Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
I would respectfully suggest that the lack of responses from "experienced Fuse owners" might be your first red flag.
Your postings are fine, but you might be on the wrong forum. Maybe try iRV2 and RVNet, as well?
If you get few or no responses over there, might be time to rethink the Fuse as an RV option.
Either that, or Fuse owners are very secretive.....
As a Fuse owner I would hazard the guess that most Fuse owners are actually on their Facebook group rather than discussion forums. I highly prefer forums, but was forced to go to Facebook to find all the Fuse Owners. They are there!
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:47 PM   #16
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
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I agree about the Fuse owners being in the Facebook group. My understanding is that that is a very active group and perhaps most Fuse owners use that forum.

It does puzzle me that Winnebago apparently is moving to the Mercedes chassis for their new Class C RVs as I do not see why the MB chassis is any better choice than the Ford chassis, but perhaps that is a topic for a different thread.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:16 PM   #17
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Curious is the wheel base wider on the Ford chassis versus Mercedes?
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:05 AM   #18
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
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Curious is the wheel base wider on the Ford chassis versus Mercedes?
I checked on the Winnebago site and found that for the current listings the MB wheelbase is 170 inches while the Ford wheelbase is 156 inches, so the MB chassis has a 14 inch longer wheelbase.

I assume that the MB and Ford Transit chassis have not changed over the last year or two so that is probably true for the Via as well, but I assume the additional towing capacity of the MB chassis has to do with the drivetrain components and, perhaps, the chassis frame, but that is guesswork. All I can say is that if our Fuse had been built on a MB chassis and had the MB drivetrain we probably would have bought a Jeep Wrangler to tow, not a Honda Fit. But then we would have had all of the issues with the MB chassis and I am glad we do not, so I am still pleased with our decision.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:16 AM   #19
Winnie-Wise
 
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From what I am seeing from video's and pics it looks like the AC is non vented? Just blows cold air from one location? Does it keep the rear and front area's cool?
Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:27 AM   #20
Ed & Lynn
 
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Originally Posted by Ret.LEO View Post
From what I am seeing from video's and pics it looks like the AC is non vented? Just blows cold air from one location? Does it keep the rear and front area's cool?
Thanks!

Non ducted AC. Our Fuse model 23A is wide open inside. No problem keeping cool in entire small RV. 'Twould be a waste of effort to duct a short RV like this.
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